To help all of our new swim parents with the meet process we have created a brief synopsis to help you all out! I have also attached step by step instructions on how to decline meets and confirm events.
Signing up for meets
Signing up for meets
Your swimmers are automatically signed up for the all of the swim meets that they qualify for through our system. Their coach then goes in to the system commits them to the meet and chooses what events they will be swimming. After that is all said and done, Liz sends out an email informing you that your child is signed up for the meet. Your job as the parent is to figure out if they can or cannot attend the meet and to look at their events. If you cannot attend the meet you must log in to the Wolf site and decline the meet. (See attached for info on how to do this) If you can attend the meet, then you log in to confirm the meet, check the events that your child is swimming, look to see what time warmups are, and what location the pool is at. If you feel that your child should not be swimming one of the events that had been chosen by the coach you can log in to the website and change the events IF the deadline is not passed. If the deadline is passed you can email Lisa (firstname.lastname@example.org) with changes. She will change the events if it is possible.
Leading up to meets the coaches will be focusing on certain skills during the week to get the swimmers ready for the weekend, whether that be working on starts, dives, finishes, or strokes more than usual.
Make sure that your swimmer receives a good night of rest the night before the meet, and eats a healthy dinner. The morning of the meet make sure to already have their swim bag packed with two towels, clothes they can wear over their suits (they have a tendency to get cold), healthy snacks that they can eat in between their races, and of course a water bottle. For breakfast my personal favorite is always a good ole peanut butter sandwich.
You will notice as you start going to meets that veteran swimmers have their events written on their legs or arms. Once you are sent the meet schedule you can use a sharpie to write your child’s races on their body. Usually it is written in a little graph with an E for events, H for heat, and L for what lane the swimmer will be going into. This keeps it a little less chaotic down on the pool deck when trying to send kids up to the blocks for their races. Don’t worry the sharpie will come off!
We ask that the swimmers wear their WOLF swim caps at meet, its makes finding them much easier for the coaches both in the water and on the pool deck, also it adds to the team mentality. If you would like to order a cap feel free to go on to our WOLF WEAR website at www.wolfwear.org
All meets have a warm-up before they start, it is important that your child is there for the time that is posted for warm-up, not when the meet actually starts. Parents are not allowed on the pool deck, you may go into the locker room with them but once they enter the pool deck they become the coaches responsibility. The swimmers get in the water and complete the warm-up that the coach has chosen for them. After the warm-up the team does a cheer and pep talk to get everyone pumped up for the meet! After that the coaches will give directions to all the swimmers as to what comes next.
During the meet it is important that your swimmer learns to stay down on the deck with the coaches and other teammates. The swimmers may come up to stands in between their races to see you, but must return back to the pool deck so that their coaches can give them their pre-race talks and get them up to the blocks in time. The coaches do not have time during the meet to run up into the stands or locker rooms to seek out swimmers. After a swimmer finishes his or her race, they are to go straight to the coaches to receive feedback for their race, once they have done that they are then free to go up and visit with you.
Races in the meets are broken up into different events, then in the events there are multiple heats. Heats are the races and swimmers they will be swimming against. Your child’s event might be Event 3 50 yard freestyle, but then it might say heat 11 of 15. What that means is that there are 15 races of the 50 yard freestyle in Event 3. Your swimmer would be swimming race 11 of the 15. Also the coaches go over this with the swimmers at the meet, and it makes sense after you have a race or two under your belt.
Once your swimmer has finished all of his/her races he/she is then free to leave the meet. Please make sure you let your coach know when your swimmer is leaving. You do not need to wait until the team is completed. Most of the larger meets offer awards for the fastest swimmers in the events, when leaving the pool or during the meet when your child isn’t swimming you can go and check the awards table to find if your child won anything.
Ultimately swimming is all about times, it is super exciting and great when your swimmers place in their races. However, at this age we look a lot at what times that they are getting in their races and checking to see that they are getting faster and developing their strokes. There are two ways to look at success with your swimmer, number one being what place did they get and two being did their time get any faster.
At meets times are broken up into different categories. These categories are called CH, A, B, C times. All that is really saying is doing is breaking times up by fast, faster, and fastest. They help place the swimmers in races and decide who they will be swimming against, so that the swimmers aren’t discouraged swimming against someone who may be slightly faster than they are. It is also a good motivation for the swimmers, for those who don’t have C times it makes them want to get faster so they can achieve a C time. Same for a swimmer who has a B time, they want to get faster to get an A time. So on and so forth.
We hope that this has answers most of your questions regarding swimming meets, if you ever have any more always feel free to email Lisa or speak with your child’s coach before or after practice!